Monday, December 14, 2009


Yep I did it, took the plunge, gave in, folded! After years (yes multiple) of saying no, I finally took my family to Disney. For 5 days we strolled through magical lands, conquered evil forces and brushed shoulders with everyone from Mickey and Minnie to Dumbo and Sparrow. The attention to detail, mind-boggling creativity and unending hospitality were all more than I remembered or could even imagine. However, more than anything it was the people, the guests, not the Disney cast and crew that kept my mind spinning and my jaw dropping. Here are a few takeaways:

- Take your family! It was some of the best family time we have ever had.
- Stay there/Eat There. Totally worth while. No car for a week, no pb&j.
- Take Dramamine. Yeah I almost puked all over Calahan on Star Tours.
- Marketing 101. Help your kids understand they don't have to purchase something just because they enjoyed the "experience."
- Stay Late. Fireworks and Parades are a great cap to the day.

- Take your parenting cues from those around. Fascinating!
- Drink the water. I know why they charge so much for a Coke.
- Miss all the details. Everything has a meaning!

- Grown women standing in line to get autographs from Cinderella and Tinkerbell!!
- A grandma wearing a Minnie Mouse dress(plus 120lbs).
- Ellen's ride in Epcot where she attempts to dominate Jeopardy, educate everyone on the environment and promote the Big Bang all wrapped up in a painfully boring 30 minute presentation. She should stick to day time television!
- Names of fireworks shows: Fantasmic, Spectromagic and my favorite Illuminations: Reflections of Earth. Please! Can't we just say stick around for some sick nasty fireworks.

- Toy Story Mania. This is the coolest ride ever! If you go to Orlando you have to go to Hollywood Studios just for this ride. It is 4D! You wear 3D glass, ride in a moving mobile and fire at moving targets. Oh and the best keep score!!! Get there early, do it as often as you can. Be prepared to wait. I am not alone in my opinions.
- Character Meals. By lunch time of the first day I knew we had hit home run with our kids because of their reactions to Tigger, Eeyore, Piglet and Pooh.
- Harper's sparkle, Kelly's tears and Calahan's energy.

After giving my time and energy to the world of Disney for a week, I still have just as many reservations and unfortunately am even more cynical about some of what I saw. However, I never would have imagined the joy it brought to my family. And even more than that, the amount of time we were able to spend together provided experiences and memories that will last much longer than the thrills of Cinderella and Tinkerbell.